Dissertation Topic Choice Form

What is your dissertation topic?

Legalization of Euthanasia in the United Kingdom; can sufficient measures be established to prevent the fears that current legislative frameworks will be incapable of preventing the practice of involuntary euthanasia? A qualitative exploration

What is / are your research questions?

If euthanasia were to be legalized in the United Kingdom, will the current legislative frameworks be capable of preventing the practice of involuntary euthanasia? Are there adequate safeguards in this regard?

How do you propose to carry out the research?

The research will be conducted by examining the current legal status of euthanasia in the United Kingdom and consequently exploring the perceptions of the public regarding legalization of the practice. I will either conduct a one on one interview or focus group, using semi structured questionnaires.  

What is the rational for your research?

Evidence collected from lobby groups, public polls, and media campaigns over the past 3 decades demonstrates that most of the citizens in the UK are consistently supporting a legislation change that would allow for terminally ill, mentally competent adults to request assistance in dying. Euthanasia is quite a controversial topic in the UK, with three high profile bills already having been tabled in parliament.

Will your study be a qualitative or quantitative study? Or a systematic review, including meta-analysis?

My study will be a qualitative study.

Who might be your study participants?

My participants will be mostly university students (final year nursing students or university students aged between 20-29 years old).

Can you think of any ethical issues there might be in carrying out your study?

  1. Possibility of participants breaking down during interview, as this is a sensitive topic. Even though participation is voluntary basis (after all the information regarding the interview provided and consented), I would still be prepared by having all the relevant information on Student Well-Being team on campus and other off campus counselling support ready.
  2. I will also consider issues such as ‘Am I going to harm anyone (participants) with psychological distress’. This could be minimized by talking to possible participants before selection by asking questions such as: how close this topic is to personal experience? This could be part of inclusion & exclusion criteria. E.g. if there’s a personal experience losing someone close less than 3 months (exclusion criteria).

Any other comments?

One of the possible internal validity threats on this research topic could be the history effect. People might feel differently about Euthanasia if there has been any ‘event’ e.g. recently loss someone to cancer. It is important to know my sample and grouping them i.e. participant with experience, without experience, religious reasons, or political reason. This will be a guide to be sensitive to my interviewee’s feelings and choose a different method of data collection, e.g. one on one interview instead of focus group.

Another important factor to consider is to understand why participant volunteered for this research topic, to establish if there’s a selection bias. E.g. a person can be politically motivated (for or against) this legalization agenda thus influences others in focus group.  

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